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It turns out, I just didn’t realize how crazy youth sports has gotten since the days when dads just showed up to coach and that was that

Monday, I wrote about my journey signing up to be an assistant coach in the local youth baseball league and how it requires multiple online accounts, profiles and a concussion awareness class before you can even complete the signup process.

It turns out, I don’t know the half of the battles being waged out there for prospective dads who just want to help out.

BT in Michigan writes:

Hey Joe-

You think the youth baseball coaching requirement is bad in your area? Let me give you a two-fer:

– I’ve coached youth baseball for literally decades now (going back to coaching the JV team at my high school the first year in college) and the worst was in summer 2020– mind you this is peak COVID-steria– I had to have a background check, a concussion protocol class, and a “Coaching with COVID” class… for 6 year old house tee-ball!!! Where the kids were outside the entire time on a plateau field that had high winds the entire season from April through June and we’re playing BASEBALL where you don’t come within 6 feet of another person unless it’s a tag play. 

– But that doesn’t even pale in comparison to youth hockey. I volunteered to coach my daughter’s 12U House / Tier 3 all-girls hockey team this year, otherwise, her group of girls she’d played with for the last four years would be scattered to the wind among other associations offering house teams for girls.

First time coaching hockey, beer league player myself. To coach a HOUSE league youth hockey team you have to: (1) sign up with USA Hockey with a membership fee, (2) Take Concussion awareness class, (3) Take Sexual Assault Awareness training class, (4) Take an online multi-hour “Coaching hockey” intro class, (5) Pay out of your own funds to take a full day online / multi-day in-person specific-to-your-age-group coaching seminar class with interactive instructors, (6) Have a background investigation, (7) be approved by your local association.

Then don’t even think about going behind a bench unless you have the $120 Bauer coaching jacket with your kids logo on it, and a $50 whiteboard for coaching diagrams (because remember, 12 yr old girls in a house league really need to know how to win a faceoff draw back to your defenseman for a shot through a screen set by your RW who is still deciding whether she wants to go back to figure skating class next month). Then you have to make sure that EVERY coaching who might be on the ice with you goes through the same thing.

So even if you just want to be the dad who stands in the net during scrimmages to make sure your team has two goalies for an in-practice scrimmage, or help move equipment like cones / nets / shag pucks at the beginning / end of practice, YOU HAVE TO DO ALL OF IT. OR YOU’RE AN EVIL PERSON WHO MIGHT WILL DEFINITELY PROBABLY MAIM SOME CHILD AND THEN STUFF THEIR BODY IN A ZAMBONI CHAMBER.

Hell, even the team manager who has to order jerseys, schedule refs, deal with the obnoxious parent who demands their kids needs more ice time has to do 90% of that. And USA Hockey wonders why they have a problem building participation at the most basic levels….

Keep it up, I’m waiting for the luge track (aka the back slope to my lawn) to thaw and melt the 3-inch covering of ice over my lawn before I even think about mine hunting. 


All of this makes me want to sit on the patio, crush a few beers, launch footballs at the boys, let them swing sticks at each other and keep my ass away from this wild coaching world.

But I made a promise to myself after Chris B. in Texas made it clear that I have to get involved. So I will officially begin my journey into the world of assistant coaching. I know it’s going to be stressful just getting there, but it’s what I have to do.

On coaching

• Brent P., who has emailed on a wide variety of topics, is fired up about this topic because it’s in his world. He’s lived it and is now an ump.

Brent writes:

So glad to hear you are signing up to be a baseball coach. Thought maybe I could help with some advice. I love baseball, I played in high school with offer to play D3, but chose to try and walk-on a D1 team. I wasn’t as good as I thought. Anyways, now I umpire and still play the game in an adult men’s league. I am 53 so it can be a chore. I am currently umpiring at the D3, JUCO, and NAIA level. Goal is D1 but probably to old to get there. I have 3 boys that played and I coached all of them. The oldest went on to play in college and the other two stopped playing the moment I told them they didn’t need to play the game for me. So I have a perspective of having a kid that breathed baseball and two others that played for the treats that came after the game was over. I have three rules for coaching baseball that you must abide by no matter the level.

  1. You need a plan.
  2. You need a minimum of 4 assistant coaches.
  3. And you must communicate with your parents weekly.

Whether it is a practice plan or a game plan you have to have a plan. It must be in writing and printed out for your coaches. Practice planning is important because is creates structure for the kids. No matter the level every practice started at the same time and it started with stretching in a circle.

A seven year old doesn’t need to stretch to prevent injury. So why is this important? Because it lets the kids know we have started and they are to pay attention and listen. Second, it lets the kids who are still in the parking lot know that they are late. The ones that care will let their parents hear about it. Never punish a kid for being late, they can’t drive. Your practice plans need to have stations of drills that you rotate through.

This is why you need four assistants. Those assistants will be handling each station of 3 ball players, while you supervise the whole apparatus. If I come to one of your practices and see you pitching a baseball to one kid while the rest are standing in the field waiting on a ball to be hit to them, then I am coming unglued.

Nothing is more boring, and will drive those kids to the soccer field quicker, than standing in the cold for an hour and a half while watching a kid swing and miss. Your plan must have scheduled breaks for water and restroom and make sure the kids understand that they are not to break until it is allotted. This will keep your practice flowing and it creates more structure.

Communicate!! When I was kid, before ESPN and MLB network, Mel Allen would treat me with baseball highlights every Saturday morning. Every week he would give his TWIB (This Week In Baseball) notes from around the league. This gave me the idea to send out TWIB notes to my parents.

They went out every Monday. I would write to my parents some of the good things I saw in practice and games the week prior, and I would give them a heads up on what we would be working on in the week ahead. Also included in the notes was the coming week’s schedule. I also quickly learned that there are words and terminology in baseball that I took for granted that everyone understood. Keep this in mind especially when talking to the kids.

Joe I could write a book on coaching baseball. And I have a million practice plans if you ever need some ideas. And notice never once did I say the word fun. If you keep them moving and the kid’s themselves see improvement, then they will have fun. Even my two boys that didn’t make it to the big diamond had fun. Good luck this year.


Assistant coach, Brent! I need to ease my way into this world. Baby steps.

On kids being kids

• Rob in Indy writes

Joe, I am enjoying hearing from you how LL coach recruiting has changed. Perhaps they should apply the k.i.s.s. theory… keep it simple stupid.

As my four kids were growing and playing in the yard and creating bald spots and holes, my wife stopped my complaining when she said I would one day miss those imperfections in the lawn because those grew up and now have their own lawns.

I do miss that.

I look forward to reading the book you will eventually write about the content you’ve helped create. You are my go-to every day.



Incredible message from Rob this morning on keeping things in perspective. Now, I just need some perspective on how to keep my mind right when the dog starts ripping around the yard like she’s been entered into a greyhound race.

On moving out of California and leaving behind a t-shirt collection

• John B. in Sacramento writes:

Greetings from Sacramento, home of the homeless and the capital of Calitopia, liberal style. I am definitely a minority here!

Absolutely love your column! First thing I read while having my coffee each morning. Then I start on the BS of the world. 

Wanted to maybe start another Dad/Man topic, t-shirt collections. My wife and I are moving to Maui to open Flip Flop Shop franchises (Lahaina and Wailea) and it’s time to clean up.

It seems that everywhere I go, I have to get another t-shirt or get a new one online. It’s decision time and how in the heck do I part with these sentimental objects?  Can’t pack them all. Hard decision time coming. I recommend signing up to Valhalla which provides money and support to military families who have lost warriors. For $30.00 a month you get a beautifully designed shirt (

Let’s see some other t-shirt collections from across our great country. I have a total of 51.
Random thoughts:

The lead-up to the Super Bowl reminded me of the 2020 presidential election. The fans were going crazy for the Bengals (Trump), while there was almost no buzz for the Rams (Biden). Unfortunately the good guys both came up short.

Two most memorable live sports events that I attended.

1. The Big Game 1982, Cal/Stanford. I was in the end zone where the trombone player got knocked down and Cal scored on one of the wildest plays in college football history. Stanford was loaded that year with Elway and a whole host of other NFL players.

Paul Wiggin, their coach was a very nice man but not a good coach. Stanford underachieved all season and needed the win against Cal to get to a bowl game. Wiggin, instead of letting the clock roll down to one second before kicking the winning field goal, stopped the clock with about eight seconds left, giving Cal the opportunity for the miracle paly.

To confound matters, even more, he had a bunch of second and third stringers on the kick-off team. It was wild, noisy and confusing as we saw the whole play develop in front of us.

2. Will Clark’s single off Mitch Williams to send the Giants to the World Series in 1989. Noise level, supersonic at Candlestick!

I have been a devoted and crazy Giants, 49ers and Stanford fan my whole life (68 years old), however, since all this woke crap, it’s just not like it used to be. Even the commercials during the game are woke. It made me mad and disgusted, taking away a lot of the enjoyment. At the end of the great Giants and 49ers season, when both lost close games, the sorrow wasn’t there.

The blue checks and the woke, cancel culture crowds have taken the passion for my teams away. It is genuinely sad. 

Thanks again for your awesome attitude and work. It is so nice to be able to read “good” stuff every morning.

“Let’s Go Brandon” 



Let’s start by addressing John B. packing up his life in California and moving to Maui to open a flip-flop shop. Talk about one of the most casual, big dick semi-retirement humblebrags, but in an actual humble way moments in Screencaps history.

This is what it’s all about in my mind. You work your entire life to horde a pile of money and then what? Sit there and count down the days until you die?

Not John B. Nope. He’s taking his ass to Hawaii to live the dream. I don’t know John and I’m not sure he’s even emailed before, but I like his style.

I want monthly reports from John from Hawaii because I think it would add some depth for those Screencaps readers who are thinking about their next moves in life at 68 to keep life interesting.

And if you have t-shirt collection photos to share with John B., fire away. My collection consists of things brands have sent me over the years, including Busch heavy and Natty shirts.


On mowing

• No, TNML doesn’t start this week, but today is still a big day of celebration for many across this country.

• David C. wanted me to take a look at this 1958 Mechanix Illustrated that featured this riding lawn mower that had an air-conditioned pod for the Cold War era dad who wanted to get a mow in after a hard day of work at the office.

I know it’s easy to bang on the millennials and Gen Z for living at home until they’re 35 and playing video games all day, but this isn’t a good look for the old-timers who came up with such a mower. SOFT!

Thank god this never caught on. That said, I’d love to have one of these in the garage for guys to fawn over when they stop for garage beers. Talk about the coolest conversation piece in a suburban neighborhood. Here it is.

On commercial real estate strategy

• Greg J. brings up an interesting topic for the guys who enjoy looking at maps and studying commercial real estate:

As I read your IKEA thoughts this morning, I was reminded of yesterday, when my wife dropped off my son and I at TopGolf while she and my daughter went shopping at IKEA in West Chester, Ohio. Thought I’d email you and mention they’re effectively across the street from each other.

Then, as I kept reading, I see that Craig V. in Indy also noted their TopGolf is across the street from an IKEA. Now I’m interested in knowing if TopGolf strategically seeks out land in proximity to IKEA? If so, that’s genius. Off to Google Maps for further investigation.

On my car search, Mexican food and all sorts of other things

• Beau in Toledo is back and in rare form. He sent this Saturday night, probably not realizing I’ve throttled my production schedule down to Mon.-Sat. ….until golf season starts.

(Again, OutKick copy editor Dr. Cortney is under my orders not to touch Beau’s grammar or spelling. I hate to get all Putin-esque, but Beau’s emails are best in raw form.)

Beau writes:

A Late Saturday Night check-in on today’s ScreenCaps demanded, in my humble opinion, a prompt response while I’m writing down Triple D episode info for future dinner ideas. Speaking from experience, if y’all travel and need dinner ideas, look up where a certain bleached and spiked-hair dude trailered his resto-mod to and eat there. 

The St Louis visits were spot on.

Speaking of resto-mods, where’s Mr. Kinsey at on his search for a personal vehicle?  The article from a while back regarding a milf who was asked to not be so frickin’ HOT while picking up her kid from school made me think TNML Commish took my advice to “Just buy a muscle car, Joe”.

Is Mr. Kinsey (hopefully) in cahoots with, say, Mr Dave Kindig?

Kindig It Design – Custom Car Restoration and Auto Fabrication Shop

ScreenCap Nation awaits bated with beer and old school leaded fuel breath!

Side Note: i am NOT trying to compete with Mike and Wife T. from Idaho(in mexico). but i went to El Padrino for lunch (again) today and got the GodFather taco, wrapped in foil.  And got the Hot sauce… DO IT.  Then later my almost 3 yr old nephew Josh told me His

Granny wanted tacos from Lucha Libre, so i got Her order and me some queso birria… there were 3 in that Styrofoam box before i took the pic. #Smashed

On to ‘bidness… to Joe, as well as Al in Medina… as much as i would love to traverse from the 419 to The Dakotas, i vote we not spend our retirement savings on fuel, and instead meet up near the banks of the Maumee and cruise to: 

Bowling Green Curling Club – Home (

we have but short time, gents,

i AM in!


To answer Beau, I took the advice of several Screencaps readers and I’m canceling my vehicle search — for now. I’m going to lay low for the next 12 months and see where things go from there. Multiple readers said to buy only if it was necessary. It isn’t, so I’ll wait.

And with that, let’s get the day rolling. Happy March 1.


Numbers from :

Stuff You Guys Sent In & Stuff I Like:

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Written by Joe Kinsey

I'm an Ohio guy, born in Dayton, who roots for Ohio State and can handle you guys destroying the Buckeyes, Urban Meyer and everything associated with Columbus.


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  1. Not sure what the Skank level is beyond “Skank” but BritBrit is there.
    I assume LLs still have “player drafts” and what amounts to a “combine” where 9 y/os display their skill levels ??? Can I also assume that the Cardinal Rule is still “The Pretty Mamma Rule”. Pick the kids with the prettiest mammas on the theory that high school / college “jocks” still get their pick of prettiest coeds so their offspring likely inherit their athletic ability? …

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